Blues Rock band 100 Watt Vipers discuss their latest album, their DIY approach to making music and what’s next for them
Interview by Emily May
Jacksonville, FL blues rock band 100 Watt Vipers has been enjoying good reviews for their latest album, Holy Water. Formed in early 2013 by longtime friends Paul Joseph and DJ Roddick, the band has released four other DIY albums- Something Wicked Comes This Way, Cold Sunday Blues, Salvation Blues and “Hellhound Train Rollin’. Joseph and Roddick perform as a 2 man band with guitar, drums and vocals, producing straightforward, soulful and heavy blues rock that’s a garage rock take on the Delta Blues. The band recently released their video for “The Bell Tolls Heavy” from the new album, a track about the struggles of the working class man. Staff writer Emily May recently spoke by email with Paul Joseph and discussed the new album, their DIY approach to music and what’s next for the band. You can follow 100 Watt Vipers and stay up-to-date with the band and all upcoming music and tour dates via the following links. you can check out their video for “The Bell Tolls Heavy” below.
iTunes/Apple Music– https://itunes.apple.
Your sound is a garage rock take on the Delta Blues. I read that when you formed the band, that the two of you worked on songs for months in order to get your sound together. Did you have an idea of what you wanted your sound to be? What inspired you to blend the two sounds together?
We both have a love and respect for authentic blues…..we didn’t know what our sound was going to become, but it just developed naturally after a few weeks of just working on riffs and development of the songs.
You recently released your video for “The Bell Tolls Heavy”. What was the idea behind the video? It definitely seems to reflect the honest, stripped down version you apply to your music!
That song is about the everyday man…..all of us really, and the struggles of life……..we all get knocked down but the trick is to just keep getting up……and try to live with honor and faith.
You have taken a DIY approach with all of your albums. Your early days in the studio involved having the engineer set up a few microphones and you would have your songs completed and mixed by the end of the day. Have you taken this approach to the recording process for all subsequent albums or has your recording process changed over the years?
After the first album I put my own small studio together….very analog…..no pro-tools …..because while everyone we worked with gave us a great sound……it still wasn’t what we were hearing………so now I record the band….we still record the same way, maybe just take a bit more time and do alternate mixes.
In addition to songs with lyrics, you have also recorded instrumentals. Do you write some of your songs with the intention of making them instrumental or do you realize once you are in the process of writing that certain songs work better as instrumentals?
The instrumentals just sorta happen……usually just something we like as it is …..
Paul- You are currently working on a side project called Old Man Jasper. What can you tell me about the project? DJ- Do you have other projects that you are working on outside of the band, as well?
OMJ is just a side thing really…..let’s me do some stuff that I don’t feel is vipers…….but in actuality most of that stuff ends up being vipers in the end.
I play with a couple of friends bands occasionally, just local shows when they need a drummer……always fun.
What were your first shows in Jacksonville like? How do you feel that your shows and fan base have evolved over the years?
Very interesting for sure…..I don’t think people would know what to make of us until we sound checked……lol. Concerning our base, it has grown to the point we are incredibly humble. US/UK/Europe etc……..we are still amazed.
In 2014, You were invited to record some tracks with the Blackbird Academy in Nashville. How did that opportunity come about and what was the experience like?
I knew those guys from before and they had started a school…..they got in touch to see if we would come let the students record us…..it was a great experience and the students did a great job…….the time there was great as Blackbird and the staff are world class.
Your new album Holy Water was recently released. What can you tell me about the inspiration behind album? How do you feel this album compares to your earlier albums?
Well for starters in the first Vipers album with slide guitar and open g tunings……as far as inspiration…..we just do what we do…..it kinda just develops naturally.
What’s next for the band?
Were putting some Southeast dates together in support of “Holy Water”……hopefully heading out in March and doing most of the spring/Summer.